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The purpose of this report is to describe an inertial guidance or navigation system that will enable use of relatively light aircraft for efficient data-gathering in geologgy, hydrology, terrain mapping, and gravity-field mapping. The instrument system capitalizes not only on virtual state-of-the-art inertial guidance technology but also on similarly advanced technology for measuring distance with electromagnetic radiating devices. The distance measurement can be made with a transceiver beamed at either a cooperative taget, with a specially designed reflecting surface, or a noncooperative target, such as the Earth's surface. The instrument system features components that use both techniques. Thus, a laser tracker device, which updates the inertial guidance unit or navigator in flight, makes distance measurements to a retroreflector target mounted at a ground-control point; a laser profiler device, beamed vertically downward, makes distance measurements to the Earth's surface along a path that roughly mirrors the aircraft flight path.
Additional Publication Details
INERTIAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEM FOR AERIAL SURVEYING.
Geological Survey Professional Paper (United States)